Not Following Up

Not Following Up

Do you know one of the biggest mistakes you can do when networking?  It’s when you give a networking partner a referral and they do not follow-up on it. This drives me crazy and is so frustrating because it is so easily preventable.
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If you are not following up when your referral partners call you or you are not following up on the referrals you are giving to others, you’re not just losing business, you’re also losing your credibility. That is something which is extremely difficult to earn back once lost.  So why not take time today to follow-up with someone. If you make following up your number one networking priority this year, I guarantee it will pay off in big ways.
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Most businesspeople love working with someone who is considerate, and your follow-up etiquette is an easy way to show just how considerate you can be. Your follow up technique can leave a lasting impression on someone who may not have thought you were memorable at first. Remember, thoughtfulness always counts in the end.
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Have you had an experience where you gave a referral to someone and they didn’t follow up on it?  If so, will you continue to give that person referrals?  Or, have you dropped the ball on following up on a referral before?  If the answer to either question is yes, did you learn a lesson from it?  Please share your experiences in the comments below.  Thanks!
Kai Bjorn

Comment concrétiser des opportunités d’affaires avec des suivis et un Merci?

Follow-up tips from various BNI leaders for International Networking Week

Submitted by Kai Bjorn, Président de BNI Canada. 

Please scroll to the bottom of this post to read the English version

Le monde des affaires ressemble à celui du sport : certains entrepreneurs sont de vrais athlètes dans leur discipline et connaissent un franc succès. D’autres performent bien, sans toutefois élever leur entreprise à un autre niveau. Mais qu’est-ce qui les différencie? Et bien, il s’agit de plusieurs actions simples, mais rentables, à commencer par les suivis durant les activités de réseautage. Pour vous aider à performer, voici 2 conseils très efficaces que tout entrepreneur devrait maîtriser pour laisser une forte impression et favoriser le développement de ses affaires.

Developpement des affaires : où, quand et pourquoi?

Sans développement des affaires, une entreprise ne peut survivre longtemps. De fait, les réseaux professionnels sont un excellent moyen de bâtir des relations avec d’autres experts et d’offrir ses services. Les entrepreneurs et travailleurs autonomes doivent donc participer à des activités de réseautage quotidiennement.

Reconnu à travers le monde entier, BNI est le plus grand réseau professionnel avec plus de 210 000 membres. Cela représente plus de 1.6 milliard $ en références et en ventes par année : imaginez le potentiel et les opportunités de vente! Il va sans dire que certains professionnels, qui sont de vrais experts en développement des affaires, en profitent plus que d’autres. Ces athlètes du référencement maîtrisent l’art de dire merci et de faire des suivis pour chaque rencontre. Oui chaque rencontre, qu’elle soit positive ou non. Et croyez-moi, en tant que Président de BNI Canada et ancien athlète olympien, les suivis et le développement sont aussi importants en affaires qu’en sport.

Activités de réseautage et suivis

Soyons francs: dans une activité de réseautage, 50 % de l’échange se fait durant la rencontre face à face et l’autre 50 % s’effectue après ladite rencontre. Il s’agit là des suivis professionnels : ces gestes font toute la différence et vous placent en priorité. Tout comme un sport, vous pouvez simplement être sur le terrain ou vous pouvez compter un but. La différence est dans l’action, la rigueur et la discipline.

Comment faire un suivi de développement des affaires?

Après votre activité de réseautage, conservez les cartes d’affaires ou coordonnées des gens avec qui vous avez échangé. Ne faites pas de sélection, conservez-les toutes. Oui, même celles qui ne vous procureront pas de vente directe. Gardez en tête qu’en affaires, vous ne savez jamais qui connaît qui. Un professionnel peut vous recommander à ses proches ou contacts.

Ensuite, écrivez un courriel à ces personnes dans les jours suivant la rencontre. Prenez le temps de leur dire «Merci» pour la belle rencontre et discussion. Surtout, n’hésitez pas à faire un tel suivi. Vous gagnerez beaucoup :

  • Vous serez en tête de liste : Ce contact professionnel pensera à vous au moment de référer ou d’acheter vos services et produits.
  • Vous aurez laissé une forte impression : Prendre les devants en faisant un suivi renforce positivement l’image qu’on garde de vous.
  • Vous rehausserez votre réputation : Faire un suivi et dire merci sont des preuves directes de votre leadership et professionnalisme. Vous aurez bâti une solide réputation dans ce réseau.
  • Vous bâtirez des relations positives fortes : Dire merci et faire des suivis aide à bâtir des relations entre professionnels : vous ouvrez la porte à une conversation et à entamer une réelle relation. C’est là que se trouve la différence entre rencontrer une personne dans une activité de réseautage et avoir un collaborateur potentiel dans son réseau.
  • Vous agirez avec éthique : Beaucoup de leaders disent merci et sont reconnaissants envers les gens qu’ils rencontrent. Entreprise en démarrage ou entrepreneur prospère, peu importe. Il s’agit avant tout d’une relation entre deux personnes. Soyez éthique et professionnel. Vos suivis et votre aptitude à dire merci deviendront une marque de commerce de votre code d’éthique.

BNI et les suivis

Les BNI ont d’ailleurs remarqué la force des suivis et d’un simple merci. Cela est si ancré dans leurs processus qu’ils ont mis en place des outils comme des cartes de remerciement. Les membres peuvent inscrire sur une note ou dire à haute voix: «Merci pour la référence et l’opportunité d’affaires concrétisée. La référence était excellente et nous avons pu collaborer ensemble.»

Les suivis de référence

Par ailleurs, les suivis sont utiles à tous les niveaux de votre développement des affaires. Non seulement après une activité de réseautage, mais bien après toute rencontre ou référence. Si un collaborateur vous réfère un client potentiel et qu’il se concrétise en opportunité d’affaires, par exemple, prenez le temps de dire merci. Vous renforcerez votre relation et démontrerez de la reconnaissance. Et cela risque fort bien d’ouvrir la porte à d’autres références.

Si toutefois un collaborateur vous réfère un client et que celui n’adhère pas à votre service ou produit, faites aussi un suivi pour le remercier. Même si la rencontre n’a pas été positive ou que le client ne correspondait pas à votre clientèle cible, faites-le. Vous ouvrez ainsi la porte à une discussion. Vous pouvez alors réajuster le tir et préciser à nouveau qui est votre client idéal. Et si vous êtes celui qui réfère un client à un collaborateur, tentez aussi de faire un suivi. Vous pouvez lui demander si tout a bien été et si la référence répondait à ses attentes. L’important est de faire un suivi et de discuter avec vos collaborateurs, que ce soit positif ou non. En affaires, il est impossible que toutes les recommandations deviennent des clients.

Saisissez les opportunités d’affaires

Surtout, rappelez-vous qu’un suivi et qu’un simple merci vous ouvrent une foule d’opportunités d’affaires. Peut-être avez-vous devant vous un futur collaborateur, un client, un représentant, un admirateur, etc. Vous ne savez jamais où cela peut vous mener. C’est une aventure qui commence par un suivi et un merci. Et heureusement, ces gestes sont simples, sans frais et rapides à effectuer. Ne vous en privez pas.

Please click on the link below to read the English version

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/successful-business-development-starts-thank-you-ivan-misner

International Networking Week 2017

http://ivanmisner.com/master-art-follow/

Master The Art Of The Follow-Up

Follow-up tips from various BNI leaders for International Networking Week

Submitted by Elyse Wilson
President of the Americas

As business professionals, building relationships is at the core of what we do. It’s how we grow our network, client base, and ultimately, ourselves. As BNI members, we know foundational elements need to be in place before new acquaintances begin to trust us as credible and reliable referral partners. One of the first steps to building relationships is simple, and it’s often overlooked. If you want to build a strong and profitable network, you must first master the art of the follow-up.

Networking events are great places to meet new professionals and showcase your business, but it’s what you do afterward that sets you up for either success or failure. You’ve finally met someone in a tough industry to break into, and you had a great conversation. Now what? Don’t wait a week, or even a few days, to reach out to your new contact. While you vividly remember meeting them, they may only vaguely remember meeting you. The next day, reach out by sending a short email inviting them to grab a cup of coffee. Don’t forget to include one or two topics you discussed during your previous conversation.

Be diligent and keep your new contacts too of mind. Keep their business card in your business card holder so you don’t forget to reach back out to them. If you think one of your fellow members may be able to help them and their business, pass their card to them. They may be their dream referral. Be a master in the art of the follow-up.

International Networking Week 2017

Mahesh Mac Srinivasan

The Fortune is in the Follow-up!

Follow-up tips from various BNI leaders for International Networking Week

Submitted by Mahesh Mac Srinivasan
President, BNI Asia & Australasia

Follow-ups, more than anything, can be the capital on which your business can prosper.

Effective networking is critical to growing your business in today’s times. In addition to being a good networker, it is essential to follow up with the new contacts you make, to make your overall efforts more fruitful than what it could have been.

For example, when someone passes a referral to you, it is crucial that you connect with the referral within a 24 to 48-hour period. This enhances your credibility with both the person who gave you the referral and your potential client. Follow up generates interest and interest in your product or service and it cements your engagement.

Follow ups can be easily done via a phone call or a short email. Make sure to thank the person who has passed on the referral and update them regularly about any progress. This will further enhance their confidence in you and ensure that you stay foremost in their mind for future referrals.

When it comes to chapter growth, it is vital to follow up when new members apply. Our members are our core strength and the more members we have, the more is the potential we offer to other members. It is a win-win situation based on mutual growth and trust. So, we must make sure that we follow up on new applications, on the same day, thank the visitor for coming and to find out more about their core strengths to evaluate if we can integrate them within existing members.

A good follow-up helps deepen the relationship and trust. Most successful business owners, create a healthy business by building a large network of business associates, clients, mentors, and friends.

To summarize, following up is key to converting introductions and building sustained relationships. All it takes is communication at regular intervals on points of mutual interest to keep connections alive. You can be sure that the effort one puts in following up with contacts always pays back directly or indirectly – sometimes through straightforward contracts, at other times via a referral or a connection that might lend a helping hand in times of need.

The Fortune is in the follow-up!

International Networking Week 2017

 

Marc-William Attie

The Impact of Follow-Up in Sales and Networking

International Networking Week: Follow-up tips from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Marc-William Attié
Directeur National, France et Belgique francophone

In order to get most of the International Networking Week, be aware of the impact of Follow-Up in Sales. Following up is a must to be in the position to succeed. This is the case in Networking, in our personal life, with our children, in managing our health, in financial management, in Business, etc…. Follow-up is one of the most important behavior to reach a high level of efficiency.
 
Follow-up and Sales
Here is an interesting statistic which proves the importance of follow-up in sales from the National Sales Executive Association:
40% of Salespeople never follow up with a prospect
25% make a second contact and stop
12% male three contacts and stop
only 10% make more than three follow-ups
and now be aware that only 2% of sales are made on the first contact
3% on the second
5% on the third
10 % on the fourth
and 80% on the firth to the twelfth contact.
What salesman do you want to be? You can easily decide.
 
Follow-up and Networking
During this International Networking Week, you will be meeting some potential future customers. I don’t recommend that you try to hard sale to the people you are going to meet. But if you want to get most of these new contacts remember that in order to create a relationship which will ease the future sales process you need to follow-up. Here are some quick tips:
1) Take note on the business card you will receive to keep track on some specific info
2) Send a personalized thank you email immediately after the event
3) Connect with those people on LinkedIn and create files in your CRM or equivalent (write a note about how you met and about what you can do for them.
4) Ask for phone and in-person meeting appointment one week later (the persons you want to reconnect with)
5) During these phone calls and in-person meetings give, ensure you give them something they can benefit from (information, connection, advise, .. remember you took note during the event).
6) Ask for help, people like to be useful.
7) Plan to have follow-up emails every 3-6 months and a call or in-person meeting every year.
Remember that follow-up is one of the most important behavior to reach a high level of efficiency. 

International Networking Week 2017

Always Carry an Umbrella

International Networking Week: Follow-up tips from various international BNI leaders

Submitted by Charlie Lawson
National Director BNI UK & Ireland

Let me tell you a story about one of the first networking events I ever went to.  It was a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Greenwich in South East London, and I remember that day because it was absolutely pouring with rain.

I thought the event had been a success.  I’d met some interesting people, and collected a bunch of business cards. Before going back to the office, I thought I’d just sit down in the car, go through the cards, and work out how best to follow up with each one.

As I left the event, I stepped into the rain.  Not having an umbrella with me, I had to run as fast as I could to my car.  Despite only being in the rain for less than a minute, I was soaked through by the time I opened my car door, such that temporarily, I completely forgot about the stack of business cards in my pocket, and absentmindedly, started the car and drove back to my office.

Half way back, cursing that I’d forgotten to look through the cards, I resolved that once I got there, I’d start my follow up then.  I put the pile of business cards on my desk, right next to the phone, ready for action.

But… then the world took over. The phone went, emails needed dealing with, people interrupted me – and suddenly, before I knew it, it was the end of the day.  What to do? I left the cards, prominently on the desk, ready to start my follow up first thing the next morning.

The next morning arrived: I looked at the pile of cards again, and thought to myself ‘I must follow up with those contacts today it’s important’.  But then whatever was urgent that day took precedence, and the cards didn’t get looked at.

A day or two later, I started to feel a bit guilty about not calling the relevant people, so I moved the cards to the special place on my desk for important matters: the top drawer.  There, forgotten about, they stayed until I cleared out my desk some months later.

So, what can we learn from this?  Well, firstly I’d like to think that I’ve learned a lot about follow up since then!   But here’s two quick tips to help you follow up better than I did:

1) Use a Memory Jogger

I don’t know about you, but I have a memory like a sieve.  Even if you’ve got a good memory, when you go to a networking event and meet 10 people, it isn’t easy to remember 10 different pieces of follow-up action. There’s a very simple solution.  When you are chatting to someone, as soon as you’ve agreed whatever follow-up is required, ask for their business card and make a brief note on it.

Incidentally, I always ask the person’s permission to write on their card.  In some cultures, this is really important and it is a habit that I’ve got into.  For most people, it is a non-issue, but for some, you can tell by the look on their face that they appreciated being asked.  It’s just a small step in the relationship building process…

2) When should follow up start?

The rain that day in Greenwich didn’t help with my follow-up, but it did teach me a valuable lesson.

I always start my follow up as soon as I leave the event I’m at.  This may be in my car before I drive away, or when I get back to the office before I switch my laptop on.  I may even find a quiet corner of the room where the event is on.

Whichever it is, just taking a quick look through the stack of business cards with notes on makes such a difference to remembering what needs to happen.

I divide the cards into two piles: one for cards needing action, and the other for those cards that have been forced upon me at the event!

Aside from ensuring you’ve always got your umbrella with you, what do you do to make sure you complete your networking follow up?

International Networking Week 2017

International Networking Week 2017

Welcome to International Networking Week 2017

Ivan Misner welcomes you to and officially opens the 2017 International Networking Week with this video. Please share this video in your BNI chapter meetings this week. For more information about International Networking Week, please view our website and watch the video at http://internationalnetworkingweek.com/

follow up tips with Tiffanie

guest blog: Follow-up Tips with Tiffanie Kellog

After networking, you often walk away with a handful of business cards and may be wondering, what is the best way to follow up? In this video, Tiffanie Kellog, author of 4 1/2 Networking Mistakes and consultant for Asentiv, explores the best way to follow up after a networking event.

The “Platinum Rule” is a registered trademark of Tony Alessandra. www.TonyAlessandra.com

https://youtu.be/tEnx5iCvq0M

More Strategies to Stay in Touch

 

Last week I shared four ideas for staying in touch with people. I discussed sorting through you list then using the system they use. I recommended using social media and old-fashioned stamp and envelope snail mail.

Here are 3 more strategies that will help you improve how you can stay in touch with others.  If you can’t do them all – do what works for you.

  1. Online chat/Skype or other instant message systems. I’m not a big fan but – it’s not about me, it’s about the other person.  What are they using?  I see many people using messaging systems online?  If you want to stay connected, connect where they are.
  2. Periodic phone calls. I know, crazy idea, actually talk to people.  Your smart phone has a green button – use it.  If appropriate, set up regular calls.  My wife and her sister have done that for many years.
  3. Face to face. Don’t be a “cave dweller.”  Nothing beats actually meeting someone face to face and having a conversation.  You have to eat breakfast and lunch every day, so why not do this a few times a week with a good referral partner? You can kill two birds with one stone by strategizing with your referral partner about how to help each other over a meal.

Benign neglect is a horrible thing when it comes to building social capital.  Start today to stay in touch. Pick a few of the techniques I listed above and “touch” someone.  Hey now, keep it appropriate.

Four Strategies to Stay in Touch

People often ask me, “how can I stay in touch with people or get back in touch with people that I haven’t seen or spoken with recently?”

Start by making a commitment to improving this area.  There’s a great Chinese proverb that I really like – “When’s the best time to plant an Oak tree?  The answer is – 20 years ago.  When’s the second best time – now!”

So, here are 4 strategies that will help you improve in this area.  If you can’t do them all – do what works for you.

  1. Sort through your list of people. You can’t stay in touch with everyone.  Who do you want to make sure to stay connected with and why?  It could be personal, it could be professional, but create a list that you want to focus on.
  2. Use the system they use! It doesn’t have to be Facebook or LinkedIn – use Pinterest or other programs, Snapchat, What’s App – whatever they use.   Each of my children uses  different systems.  If I want to connect with them – I need to go where they are.  For my oldest daughter, it’s texting or a phone call.  For my second daughter, it’s What’s App or texting.  For my son, it’s an online game called Steam.  I have some business associates who only reach out to me on Facebook or LinkedIn.  Others are strictly email or a phone call.  The key here – is to go where the people you want to talk to, hangout.
  3. Use social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or Twitter to your advantage by sharing news and reading updates without having to reach out to people on an individual basis. Social media is fantastic. Instead of starting your next call with, “What’s new?” you can jump to, “You cut off your hair!” “You have a new job!”
  4. From time to time, use snail mail! Yes, OMG, send a handwritten letter or a card.  It’s so “old school” and it’s almost guaranteed that someone will read it.

Next week I will share more tips.

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